Here, at last, is the brand that needs no introduction in the world of man’s fashion as they make most of the fine and beautiful fabrics of which many of the bespoke men’s costumes in London, Paris, Milan, and New York are made. This is how executives are dressed and how movie stars go about looking good – in SCABAL (an acronym for Société Commerciale Anglo Belgo Allemande Luxembourgeoise). Scabal is at the origin of the creation of the bunch booklets used today by most of the great tailors on the planet.
Founded in 1938, SCABAL is the world’s foremost producer of fabrics, supplying elite tailors and fashion houses across the globe. Each season SCABAL’s team of designers and artisan weavers create collections of the finest fabrics at the company’s English mill (from a recent press release).
So Best Dressed Man is honored today to present to you a small Q&A interview with Campbell Chrichton Dunn, creative director and chief of design at SCABAL:
- Is it true that the suit should be carrying the man rather than the man wearing the suit?
I think this is true of all clothes, they should complement your personality and make you feel more confident. A well-cut suit that fits you perfectly will help your posture. This is achieved not only by the suit’s cut itself, but also by any man’s tendency to stand up straight and walk correctly when they are wearing a suit.
- What is the best occasion and the best way for a man to wear a pochette / pocket square?
I think if the pochette is well chosen and folded well it can fit any occasion. I like to see a fancy printed silk roughly folded worn with a casual jacket, but am equally keen on wearing a navy business suit with a sharply folded, white crisp pocket square.
- Style-wise, is there too much urban chic out there today and too little classic & traditional elegance for men?
There is now more choice for men’s clothing and the menswear market is more diverse than ever before and this is not a bad thing as it gives more style choices to men. I would say there is an evolution in the classic way of dressing where people are now mixing more formal items like suits with t shirts or more loosely cut styles, suits and jackets are still an important wardrobe item but men are changing the way they wear them.
- If SCABAL were to open up shop in the States, what city would be the best venue?
I would love to see our first store open in New York City, it’s the fashion capital of the US.
- Besides personal initials what are some of the main reasons a client would order under-collar or on-the-cuff (shirt) embroidery?
We get a lot if customers adding important dates, wedding days, birthdays etc. It gives them a unique product and also adds a discovery talking point that they can choose to reveal or not.
- Is the legend true that it is the softness of the water which is the best kept secret of the old SCABAL mill at Huddersfield?
The reason why the fabric mills in England are located in the county of Yorkshire is due to the terrain of the Pennine Hills. In the 18th century, the hills allowed the water to run down easily to the mills, which were then powered by water. These days, all our fabrics are still finished by being washed in the local waters which definitely gives them an extremely soft touch.
- How does The Woolmark Company fit into the farm-to-table product philosophy of SCABAL?
Both Scabal and The Woolmark Company share the same values when it comes to wool. To create the finest quality cloth by using the best Australian Merino wool available, with a focus on traceable, sustainable sourcing. We joined forces with Woolmark to establish the Scabal Noble Wool Club, showcasing a collection of the finest quality ultrafine merino fabrics and have recently worked with them again to launch a short film showcasing a selection of Artisans who use the best raw materials to create products of distinction across tailoring, Michelin star cuisine and customized motorcycles.
- Is it true that every tailor on Savile Row carries SCABAL bunch books?
Scabal provides a large selection of luxury tailors with our bunch books and that includes many located on Savile Row.
- What kind of sustainable development is practiced at the SCABAL Noble Wool Club?
The Noble Wool Club creates superfine wool by working only with family run Australian Merino wool farms that must meet strict environmental and ethical criteria. At the same time, Scabal works with these farms to preserve traditional methods of wool growing in the face of increasingly low quality international competition.
- Which one is your personal favorite bunch book?
At the moment my favorite bunch books is ‘Loch Lomond’ with its wool super 140’s and cashmere fabrics with soft elegant designs.
- Is SCABAL, in fact, what always wears James Bond?
SCABAL has provided fabric to many of the costume designers on James Bond films over the years however, we did not make any of the actual suits.
(only Miss Moneypenny knows if 007 is wearing SCABAL on this mission)
- Who – wearing SCABAL – would be the best dressed man on the planet?
I think someone like Eddie Redmayne or Ryan Gosling would look smart and elegant in a Scabal suit.
Interview by Sandro and pictures by SCABAL except James Bond which is to be found free of credits and free to reuse without commercial purpose on Google.